For more than a decade Knauf has reduced its carbon emissions in the complete lifecycle of manufacturing plasterboard in Australia - from the supply of raw materials to end of life. 

In 2015 their efforts were boosted when a key customer (Lendlease) approached them to explore ways to work together to reduce the carbon footprint associated with the supply and installation of plasterboard for the Barangaroo South project in Sydney.  

This request resonated with Knauf’s existing commitment to reducing the environmental impact of their manufacturing and installation processes, and with internal plasterboard wall linings making up a significant proportion of the building materials required for the project, it presented a substantial opportunity to investigate ways to reduce the impact of plasterboard manufacturing on the environment even further.

NCOS certification

In response to the Lendlease request, Knauf developed Australia’s first carbon neutral plasterboard with an opt-in carbon offset program that is certified to the National Carbon Offset Standard (NCOS) for the manufacture of their MastaShield, FireShield and WaterShield plasterboard.

Knauf is now in their fifth year of certification for these plasterboard products and the certification has since been extended to a range of their metal products.  Knauf meets the NCOS requirements by a two-pronged approach: reducing emissions and offsetting.

Reducing emissions

Knauf has introduced and invested in a wide range of initiatives to reduce its overall carbon emissions. These include initiatives such as water reduction measures, ongoing scrap reduction targets, recycling of waste heat in production facilities, LED light replacement program, installation of variable speed drives and automated shutdown of idle equipment and staff education programs.


After reducing emissions through these initiatives, the greenhouse gas emissions that cannot be further eliminated are offset so that the net carbon emissions resulting from the manufacture of these Knauf products are zero. This is achieved through carbon credits (or carbon offsets) which represent the reduction of one tonne of CO2-e from the atmosphere.

Knauf uses qualified providers of offsets that meet the NCOS requirements but that also meet their own criteria of providing a strong social responsibility aspect.

With this in mind, the Lifestraw® Carbon for Water project in Kenya was chosen. This project delivers co-benefits such as safe drinking water in the home, local employment, improving health outcomes and removing the need to burn timber, which avoids both carbon emissions and deforestation. It also enabled many of the local girls, who typically had to carry wood for making fire, to attend school. 

How does the opt-in program work?

Knauf’s carbon neutral program is unique and positions the company as a leader in innovation and sustainability.

The opt-in carbon offset program is available for plasterboard and metal products manufactured in their Sydney (Matraville) and Brisbane (Beenleigh) facilities. Clients who choose to opt-in can rest assured that carbon neutrality has been achieved at every stage of the manufacturing process and that the impact of the manufacture and supply of the products on the environment have been reduced to zero.

For more information, visit or call Knauf’s Customer Service on 1300 724 505.